Depends which way you look at it.

newsWhere do you draw the line between slave labour, and the concept of being paid to exercise?

Yesterday I was hassling a friend who has recently started working for the local paper. To be more specific, it’s the Very Local paper – the one that is just for the smaller northern district within the greater city council area.

“How come I haven’t had the paper delivered the last two weeks?”

Seems that whoever was doing it stopped doing it, and they hadn’t found a replacement.

Next thing I know I’ve offered to take on the delivery myself.   “Might as well get paid to exercise,” I heard myself saying.

NEXT thing I know, phone calls have been made, and the friend brings round a stack of this week’s papers for me to deliver  three days late.

Now, our older two girls already take turns doing a Wed/Sat morning paper run for the major local paper.  The rate is about $10 for delivering 135 papers, and it takes about an hour. Not great pay, but for a teenager it’s not bad spending money.

This Very Local paper is much, much smaller. Thinner. As I looked at the map that accompanied the delivery, I discovered that the run looks to be about twice the size of the kids’ run. And, as it took me about two hours to do it today, that estimation looks to be about right.

I haven’t had the payment confirmed yet, but my friend thinks it’s only $12.

Hmmm. (Do the maths…)

So, because the papers are thinner, do they think it doesn’t take as long to put in letterboxes? Or that it doesn’t take as long to walk between the letterboxes? Sure, I can fit the whole of this twice-as-big run in the milk crate (on the golf buggy), and don’t have to reload, but that doesn’t actually save me that much time.

I’m undecided. Which way do I look at this? A big rip off? Or a bonus that I’m being paid anything to do two hours of exercise that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise?

[Edited to add: I can deliver these any time on a Monday – no getting up early. Also -finding some means of comparing currency for anyone from O.S. ..  Let’s see: $12 might get you a half decent bottle of wine. You pay about $3.40 for a cappuccino  – so I could call it my weekly coffee money.]

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6 Comments

Filed under lost in procrastination, miscellaneous minutiae

6 responses to “Depends which way you look at it.

  1. When I delivered our local paper here I got paid by the paper and ALSO by the mile. It was a daily and I made about 1500 a month. My route was 100 miles, so 32.00 a day was mileage. I think there were 200 papers? Maybe more. I made about $18 a day w/o the mileage allotment, 13 years ago.

  2. Just wait til you’re hauling those thin papers through the pouring rain. Is it exercise or just torture?

    ( this assumes that you have a deadline to meet and can’t wait for fair skies)

  3. Tracey

    Gee, by the mile as well, Fogspinner. But a 100 mile route?!! Wow.

    Yep, I was thinking about bad weather, E. And the middle of summer. With this paper, I think I could get away with leaving it till bad weather eases. After all, if it’s pouring, the paper is just going to get saturated.

  4. I have a friend who does this as well. She combines the papers with flyers and other junk mail and delivers them all at the same time, she does OK out of them. But doing it in the wet windy weather? Ummm no thanks, you can keep that one to yourself 🙂

  5. huh. I already had doubts about your sanity for voluntarily riding a million km a week ‘for fun’.But y’know, whatever floats yer boat.

  6. Tracey

    Hi rhubarb! I shall have to look at wet windy weather as character building maybe?

    Rootie, a bit of hyperbole there maybe? As long as I don’t have to float any boats! We’ve had enough rain and flooding round here this year!

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